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Topic 1: Characteristics of Living Things

Ms Kasthuri Jewarethnam Page 1


Characteristics of living things

Pre-requisite knowledge/skills:

Learning outcomes: The students will be able to:

Identify the seven characteristics of living things


Differentiate between living and non-living
Infer that living things have modifications according to their habits, need and habitat.

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Fact Sheet

Characteristics of living things

1. MOVEMENT

Most living things . Living things move in order to .


Plants move but do not move their position. They are able to move
parts of themselves.
Plants move their roots towards water and towards the centre of the earth. They move their
stems and leaves towards light.
Animals move to keep themselves safe and to look for food.
Some animals move on land, air and water.

2. RESPIRATION

All living things need oxygen to stay alive. They use oxygen to turn
food into energy.
To obtain oxygen from the air, animals and plants exchange gases
between themselves and their surroundings.
Green plants exchange gases with their surroundings through holes in
the under-surface of their leaves. These holes are called stomata.
Animals have different organs of breathing depending in the habitat they stay.
.

Worms get oxygen through the


Most land animals have Fishes, which live under water,
surface of their skin, and insects use
lungs. obtain oxygen using gills breathing tubes called trachea.

3. SENSITIVITY:

All living things react to stimuli. This means they are sensitive to changes in their
surroundings and react to them.

All animals are sensitive to what is happening around them.


Example we shiver when it is cold. We withdraw our hand when
we touch a hot thing. Some animals have complicated nervous
systems and brains. They have a sense of taste, sight, hearing,
touch and smell.

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Plants also respond to stimuli, but in a different way to animals. Some plants turn towards
the sunlight. Their roots sense and move towards water. The sun flower turns its face towards
the sun, during the day and droop when the sun has set.

4. GROWTH

All living things grow. This means they increase their size. They can grow taller. They can
grow wider.

Plants grow taller and wider. Seedlings grow into


bigger plants. Plants increase their size in all Baby animals grow into adult animals.
directions. And their shape is changing all the Animals also grow taller and wider, but
time. can only increase their size in a definite
shape.

5. REPRODUCTION
All living things reproduce, this means that they make copies of themselves before they die.
.

Some animals reproduce by laying eggs. Mammals like dogs, cow, rabbits etc give birth to you
Frogs, snakes most fish and insects lay eggs. to young ones. The mother suckles the young ones
When the young ones of these animals hatch with her milk. Man is also a mammal.
they have to take care of themselves

Plants which have flowers reproduce from seeds. The new seedlings then grow into plants.
Other plants grow from spores and cuttings.

6. EXCRETION

Living things have to remove the harmful effects of waste products from their body.
Some of these waste products are: carbon-di oxide, nitrogen and water.
.
Animals, such as humans, cats, dogs, remove
the harmful effects of the gas carbon dioxide
by breathing out. They also breathe out
water vapor. The main organs which remove
nitrogen waste from the body are the kidneys

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Plants also produce waste nitrogen, but only in small amounts. They do not possess organs
to remove it, so store it in some of their cells after they have turned it into a harmless
substance. Some harmful wastes are excreted from the bark of the tree.

7. NUTRITION
Animals do not make
All living things feed. They feed to supply themselves with energy. their own food. They
feed on plants, other
animals, and on dead
waste.

Most green plants make their own food. They make their food
from the simple raw materials carbon dioxide and water. The
green color (chlorophyll) in the leaves together with sunlight
allows carbon dioxide and water to be combined. This process
is called photosynthesis.

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Worksheet 1
Using MRS GREN criteria of classification write the differences between plants and
animals.

PLANTS ANIMALS

Worksheet 2

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1) Draw 2 pictures of each of each of the following.

Natural things

Man made things


Living
Non-living things

2) Write the names of two items in the class room that were:

Living

Once living but now dead


Never living

3) What are the similarities and differences between plants and animals?

4) How do the following animals breathe? Draw and write their names of the organs.

Worms

Insects

Fishes

Birds

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Short answer types
1) What are the seven characteristic of living things?
2) How do green plants make their food?
3) What are the different sense organs?
4) Where are seeds produced?
5) Do plants have any organs for excretion?
6) What is nutrition?
7) Why are leaves green?
8) How do plants breathe?
9) What is the difference between the growth of plants and animals?

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Worksheet 3

Using MRS GREN criteria for classification complete the table given below. Identify if its
living or non-living.

Thing M R S G R E N Living/Non-
living

Computer
mouse

Cockroach

Mushroom

Rock

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Sprite

Nail

Clouds

Tree

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